How Does Top Dressing Help
Top dressing helps to increase nutrient retention, improve drainage and increase disease and pest resistance. It will encourage the production of new shoots, and result in a thicker lawn with the added benefit of hindering moss and weed infestations.
This thin layer of top dressing will also help your lawn to improve drainage and break down thatch and grass clippings easily. An added bonus is that top dressing allows the soil to retain moisture better during drier conditions as well as allowing excess moisture to drain away during heavy rainfall.
How To Help The Garden Grow Faster
If the garden is delayed in its growth rate or falling behind, a few techniques can be tried to help strengthen the soil. Those who want to get experimental and test the effects of growing fruits and vegetables at a faster rate while enhancing the flower garden can use these tips to increase the power of the topsoil!
Some tips to help the garden grow faster are:
- Dont Forget about Mulch Mulch is an excellent resource to assist in eliminating weeds, and it helps to retain moisture in the soil. That moisture leads to further heat retention, which aids in the growth process and nutrient-production in soil.
- Add Nutrients The primary nutrients gardens need are phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. Whether its topsoil, compost, fertilizer, or any other growth-enhancers used, be sure to offer the garden the critical nutrients that it requires to flourish. It is good to use the 6-12-6-rule on ingredients that say that gardeners should seek a balance of 6% nitrogen, 12% phosphorus, and 6% potassium.
- Utilize Rainwater Keep buckets out to catch the rain and preserve water. This will help any gardeners energy usage and bill while also making the most of the resources available! Rainwater is often the cleanest option along with the cheapest, with BBG.org stating, The quality of rainwater is unsurpassed when it comes to watering plants and landscapes.
Season And Time For Topdressing A Lawn
Best is to topdress just before a growth spurt. Here are the best seasons for topdressing :
- beginning of spring
- middle of spring
- end of summer
- middle of autumn
Dont topdress lawns in summer or winter. Indeed, slow growth means grass cant grow atop the new layer, resulting in patches being smothered.
Morning dew, and moisture at dusk, make it harder to topdress. Best is before and after lunch or over the afternoon.
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Creating A New Garden From Scratch
Did you just move into a new home and want some perfect hacks for starting a beautiful flower garden? Add topsoil to your list! Topsoil provides both new and grown plants with the ideal environment they need to sprout. The more you add topsoil to your garden, the richer it becomes. Thanks to its compactness, it also refills the washed-out soil of your potential garden. And if your garden is old and unused for a long time, you can bring it back to life by supplying it with the moisture, bacteria, and nutrients packed in topsoil.
Apply topsoil at least 6 inches deep, then use a shovel to spread it evenly. After that, use an aerator to mix the first layers of the topsoil with the top 3 inches layers of your existing soil. This resembles natural topsoil and improves drainage. As claimed by Gardenista, you can’t just add a 3 inches layer of topsoil in your garden, then plant in that area. They warned that farming on such weak layers could lead to drainage problems.
Pro Tips When Top Dressing Your Lawn
As any lawn owner knows, lawn maintenance can be labour-intensive. If youre in the mood to get down and dirty under the sun, top dressing may just be the thing for you. Here are some more lawn care tips for a successful top dressing:
- Start with spot treating bare patches in your lawn and build on them. The key here is to top dress lightly and gradually. Too much and too frequent top dressing can raise your yard grade and cause soil erosion and water pooling in different areas of your lawn.
- Give your grass growth a leg up by combining top dressing with other cultural practices, such as mowing, overseeding, and regular watering. Youll be rewarded with healthier grass and a thicker lawn after.
- Go green all the way! Use natural fertilisers when enriching your lawn. Just be sure to pick the fertiliser specifically made for lawns grass types. A nitrogen-rich fertiliser , for example, supports a top dressed couch lawn well.
Sounds like a big project? Not a problem!
If you want to have your lawn top dressed just right , do it the way seasoned lawn owners do hire lawn care professionals. With these experts on top of your lawn maintenance, you can say goodbye to a patchy and anemic-looking lawn, and say hi to brighter, greener days ahead.
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Whats The Best Type Of Topsoil For Leveling A Lawn
If you are going to level your lawn with topsoil there are a few options when it comes to what material you can consider for using to level your lawn. I will now go over what materials different people say you should use or not use to level your lawn and look at the advantages and disadvantages of all the available options.
- Sand Sand can be used to level lawns and some people like it because it is very fine I texture so it is easy to work it down to the soil. Using sand can cause problems especially if you have soil with a high clay content under your lawn. When sand and clay mix it can turn into a near concrete mixture and that will cause all sorts of drainage problems later on.
- Sand/ Topsoil Mix Using a sand and topsoil mix is a much better option than using sand on its own. Using this method has the advantage of the sand making it easy yo work through the grass and down to the thatch level whilst the soil makes sure there is still good drainage. The topsoil will also add some nutrients back into your lawn.
- Topsoil If you use a high-quality topsoil mix for leveling your lawn it will have all sorts of benefits as apart from leveling your lawn it will add organic matter back into your lawn. When you add a blend like this onto your lawn all the nutrients will work their way down to the soil and back into your lawn. Adding quality topsoil to your lawn will have the same effect as using fertilizer on it.
Top Dressing Lawn Using A Drop Spreader
This technique of top dressing lawn uses a traditional drop-style lawn spreader with a big hopper. It works best with compost that is dry and finely screened. Wet or clumpy compost will clog the spreader holes.
Drop spreaders have adjustable holes in the bottom and a mechanism on the handle that lets you set the size of the openings. Set the spreader on the setting with the largest openings and close the lever that shuts the hopper holes. Fill the hopper with compost from a nearby wheelbarrow or truck, go to the edge of your lawn, and open up the drop holes as you walk up and down your lawn in a row pattern. Make sure you cover all of the lawn, refilling the hopper as needed. Lawn drop spreaders with a bigger hopper mean you dont have to refill as often, but theyre also heavier to push.
It also may be possible to use a broadcast spreader to top dress your lawn. They have a spinning wheel beneath a single hole where the compost drops out. The wheel spins and tosses the compost out onto the lawn, rather than dropping it directly beneath the spreader. However, in my experience, unless the compost is very finely screened and super dry, broadcast spreaders clog more easily than drop spreaders. Still, if you already have one in the garage, feel free to give it a whirl. You might have a very different experience.
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What Are The Common Topsoil Misunderstandings
The landscaping experts of Eden have curated a list of topsoil myths for you.
- All Topsoil is Equal
Unlike this myth, topsoil differs even in the same lawn and from one garden bed to another. Most people dont know this because they arent fully aware of what topsoil is made up of. At the same time, some people believe that the perfect ratio of ingredients in topsoil is 60 percent sand, 25 percent silt, and 15 percent clay.
What they dont understand is that the ratio or composition of each material varies depending on the decomposed plant matter or organic matter, types of insects, and organisms like earthworms that are present in their topsoil.
- Topsoil Can Replace Fertilizer
Another misconception among people is that you can avoid using fertilizers if you are working with topsoil. To create healthy landscapes, plants, or garden beds, there is still a need for required nutrients and additional work, no matter which soil you have used.
You must remember that your lawns and plants are using or sucking the nutrients from the soil. That is why they require fertilizer and constant care every now and then.
- With Topsoil, Only Annual Tilling is Needed/ Topsoil Helps You Avoid Tilling
- Regular Dirt is Just The Same As Topsoil
- Quality Topsoil is Hard to Find
Lawn care is all in the details, and we take care of every single one to give you the lawn of your dreams. Contact us today!
Learn More About Topdressing Lawns
Top dressing is a brilliant alternative to chemical fertilizers. Its a great way to manage a healthy lawn with purely organic options.
It was pioneered and developed especially for the golfing industry, where lush, pristine greens were needed for playing. In early days, it was actually the only option to grow healthy lawns since chemical fertilizers didnt exist.
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When Is The Best Time To Apply Topsoil
The best time to apply topsoil is after an aeration treatment during fall. Early spring is also a good time to topdress your lawn for most lawns and gardens . Spring and fall describe the growing season when the earlier you apply the topsoil the better the results.
With that in mind, you must avoid topdressing your lawn during winter since the inert phase can damage or entirely kill your grass.
Why Do We Need To Top Dress A Lawn
Your lawn needs regular feeding so that the grass grows thick and evenly distributed. Top dressing, when combined with nutrient-rich organic based fertilisers, can be a powerhouse booster for your turf. These are the many benefits that your lawn will get when its top dressed:
- Increases nutrient retention
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Plant And Let It Grow
Now, let nature take its course! Water the lawn often and follow the guidelines of each specific flower, fruit, and vegetable planted, as each will vary. A cactus may only need to be watered around three to five times a month, while a cucumber plant may need closer to eight watering sessions per month.
Understand what is growing and what it needs, aiming to plant produce that requires similar watering schedules and nutrients next to each other.
Now that you understand the process from start to finish, the next sections will be guidance on picking the healthiest and safest materials, avoiding pesticides and ways to encourage garden growth!
How To Level My Lawn Shallow/small Spots
Once youve determined whether you need to level your lawn for a shallow spot , you should follow these steps.
Generally speaking, you can simply apply a top dressing directly on top of the turf. Putting a thin layer of turf and lawn topsoil over the affected area and spreading it across evenly, will help level your lawn. Push the soil down with either your feet, hands or flat side of a rake and make it compact, then water the soil gently and leave to settle in.
After a couple of days, you should add grass seed and a further light layer of topsoil in order to grow new turf. Again pat down and water gently. Using this method for small uneven patches of your garden should level your lawn.
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Benefits Of Topdressing A Lawn
When the soil under your grass starts to lose its oomph, or its a new lawn that isnt doing well, pulling all of the grass up to amend it isnt a feasible option. Topdressing is a simpler albeit still challenging way to see the following benefits in your lawn.
- Adds organic matter to the topsoil, improving poor soil by enhancing its productive properties
- Improves the soil structure, water holding capacity, and cation exchange capacity
- Builds up beneficial soil microbes
- Reduces thatch
- Smooths out uneven terrain from worm castings, freeze/thaw cycle, or water runoff
- Reduces the need for fertilizing
Compost Or Topsoil For Overseeding
When overseeding your lawn, it is better to use compost as a topdressing instead of topsoil. This is because compost is rich with nutrients and organic materials which will feed the grass seed and work their way into the existing soil as the compost breaks down.
Adding topsoil will put a smothering layer of dirt atop your existing grass. The topsoil you bring in usually wont have enough nutrients to feed your grass seed, and it wont break down over time. Compost is the key when overseeding.
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Ideal Soil Conditions To Seed Your Yard
The first step in starting a new lawn is establishing a healthy environment for grass to grow. Loam or loamy soil is the perfect mix of clay, silt, and sand for growing plants. It provides water and nutrients, drains excess water, and leaves enough room for air circulation so oxygen can reach the roots of every blade.
To find out if the soil in your yard is loamy, grab a handful of dirt and pack it into a ball. Loamy soil will hold its shape and break apart easily when dry. Sandy soil will not hold its shape, and clay soil will not break apart easily when dry. If you have sandy or clay soil, the following two sections will show you how to set up a grass-friendly foundation in your lawn.
Most grasses prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. You can test the soil yourself with a home soil test kit or hire a professional. From there, you can amend your yard to improve its growing conditions. For example, soil in New Brunswick and along the B.C. coast tends to be acidic . Homeowners here can add ground limestone to the soil to raise its pH to a more grass-friendly level. If your soil is too alkaline , you can add compost, composted manure, or sulfur to lower the pH.
Note: When working with fertilizers and other lawn care products, take special care to follow all product and safety instructions.
Should I Use Compost Or Topsoil Over My New Lawn
You need both topsoil and compost to start a new lawn. You may already have enough topsoil where you want to grow your lawn and all you need to do is improve it by sheet mulching with compost.
If you need to level out the lawn, fill in holes, or you need to replace more than 2 of topsoil, then you may need to buy topsoil. Topsoil is usually cheaper than compost so if you need a lot of soil, buying topsoil instead of compost could save your budget. You can then mix in compost to provide added nutrients.
The downside to topsoil is that it may include weeds seeds. Good compost made through hot composting should have no weed seeds remaining.
|When to buy topsoil for a new lawn:||When to just use compost on a new lawn:|
| You need to replace the existing topsoil.
The topsoil has eroded away.
The topsoil is heavy clay and you need to establish a large area.
You need to level out the lawn and/or fill holes.
You need to use a LOT and are on a budget.
| You want to improve the quality of the existing topsoil over the long-term.
You have clay soil.
You have a few inches of topsoil already in the spot.
You dont need to level out or change the grade of the lawn.
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Topsoil Can Help Care For Flower And Garden Beds
Plants and flowers draw their nutrients from the dirt they live in. However, its often necessary to replenish these nutrients, especially if your garden endured a long winter. One of the best ways to replenish the nutrients that your plants crave is through a fresh layer of topsoil. As mentioned before, topsoil features decomposed plant matter which helps to nourish your plants. Mix the soil with compost for additional nutrients.
To incorporate new topsoil, evenly spread the soil across the bed and till the area to combine the old with the new. Finish by adding another layer of topsoil to the top of the bed. Once your plants have taken root, top off your garden with some mulch. There are many benefits of mulch, but when it comes to a freshly planted garden, mulch is a great choice because it holds in moisture and slows the growth of weeds.